Jimmy Titanic

World Tour 2013-2015
written by Bernard McMullan

"God and Gabriel are just two of some 20 delightfully outrageous characters – all portrayed by Colin Hamell - in Bernard McMullan’s darkly funny Jimmy Titanic…….Colin Hamell is the real entertainer."
read more from the Boston Globe review

“Colin Hamell switches effortlessly from comedy to drama, and his performance is just as deft as he hops from character to character, accent to accent, and even language to language….This is the work of a virtuoso.”
read more from the Boston Edge review
"Colin Hamell has the energy and passion of a holy roller evangelist. They must carry him out on a stretcher. The mercurial actor zips from role to role with only a change of lighting and blink between, if that. Most characters have distinguishing cadence. His portrayal of the unsophisticated, jaunty, and likeable Jimmy is irresistible. Hamell occupies the stage with dynamism and focus. Director Carmel O’Reilly utilizes the small space with terrific ingenuity. Her actor is rarely still for long and manages to effect location changes by interacting with a single piece of movable set. Physicality is paramount. I gather from the playwright that some of the more outrageous attributes depicted are the collaborative invention of O’Reilly and Hamell. The fast paced production pauses when effective, then continues headlong with a steady hand at the helm."
read more from the Woman Around Town review

The Lonesome West

Davis Square Theatre — May 17 - June 3 2012
written by Martin McDonagh

Suffice it to say that Leenane is no city of brotherly love.
"Carmel O’Reilly directs a slam-dunk production, and the performances are terrific. Billy Meleady is a spry, merrily mean Valene, Colin Hamell a slightly thick, sadistic Coleman. In the midst of the mayhem, Derry Woodhouse, as Father Welsh, tenderly delivers a touching monologue about the power of forgiveness. And Lisa O’Brien’s Girleen is the breath of fresh air that the other characters, albeit holding their own breath, so desperately need."
read more from The Phoenix review

Dysfunctional cohabitation plays out a hilariously dark vision of the human condition
"In a small Irish town that's fast becoming the murder capital of the world, two brothers battle it out over a dead father, an inheritance and a packet of crisps. The Lonesome West is the third installment in Martin McDonagh's award-winning Leenane trilogy. "
hear more from Jared Bowen's review on WBGH

The Lonesome West captures desolation
"Out in Leenane, a little town in the west of Ireland, the bodies are piling up in a rash of murders and suicides. Brothers Coleman and Valene Connor have just buried their dad, who met a bad end with a shotgun. An accident, supposedly, but the truth behind his gory demise fuels the brothers’ bitter, profane, petty, and violent struggles."
read more from The Boston Globe preview

photos by Roger Metcalf


1st Irish Theatre Festival — September 26 2011
written by Conor McDermottroe

Tir Na Theatre in association with The American Irish Historical Society, presented Dawnhurst, written and directed by Conor McDermottroe.

Dawnhurst: a play about truths, untruths and the vicissitudes that occur when reputations are on the line. Set in County Rosscommon, Ireland in the 1960s, we meet Ellen Edwards and Rose Noonan who visits the former Countess on the first Sunday of each month to repay a loan borrowed by her husband a number of years prior.

An unlightly relationship develops between the disillusioned Irish woman and the eloquent, well-spoken English noblewoman. However, on this, the last visit, an unfortunate event changes their lives forever.

For more information visit the First Irish Theatre Festival.


Boston Center for the Arts — April 8-24 2010
On bare stage, Trad goes on a quest
"So funny I wept, so tragic I couldn't stop laughing — yes, there’s no doubt about it. Mark Doherty's Trad is a quintessentially Irish play."
read more from The Boston Globe review

Trad delivers a kiss and a kick to Irish drama
"Tir Na producing artistic director Colin Hamell, Billy Meleady, and Nancy E. Carroll — play the piece with precision and wit, with only the mournful strains of Morgan Evans-Weiler’s fiddle and Chad Kirchner’s guitar to hint that Trad, though bent on propelling its stunted characters either out of this world or into the future, is more than just a lampoon of boastful, blindered, blarney-strewn Irish tradition."
read more from The Phoenix review

Defining states of mind
"Doherty's play tackles that issue through absurdist comedy. Hamell plays 100-year-old Thomas, who goes on a bit of a quest with his 150-year-old Da, played by Billy Meleady. Nancy E. Carroll, fresh off a Broadway run in Present Laughter plays a 150-year-old lass named Sal and the tale-spinning Father Rice."
read more from The Boston Globe preview

Swansong and Bottom of the Lake

Boston Center for the Arts — February 26-March 14 2009

"Two haunting plays by Conor McDermottroe from the new Celtic Gothic idiom get splendid productions in the Plaza Black Box theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts, 539 Tremont St. in the South End. Tir Na Theatre Company (which translated from the Gallic means Land of Theater Company) presents a new play from McDermottroe in tandem with an earlier play the author himself once performed."
read more from The EDGE review

"Take the pair of beautiful plays Tir Na will be doing at the BCA till 14 March. As Bottom of The Lake opens, there in the merest whisper of Karen Perlow's delicate lights two men sit in a boat --- half a boat, actually, the near side implied --- arguing whether they just heard the bells strike twelve, or eleven. It's New Year's Eve and they're out to catch the first salmon of the season"
read more from The Theater Mirror review

"These days, Irish playwright Conor McDermottroe can be found in Dublin editing his feature film Occi Versus the World, based on his one-act play Swansong, which won strong reviews in New York, Edinburgh, and London"
read more from The Boston Globe review

Stones in His Pockets

Brussels, Warehouse Studio Theatre — May 2-5 2007

A promising debut by a new Irish-leaning company
"Last Wednesday's performance of Stones in His Pockets by the Tir Na Theatre Company, hosted by the Irish Theatre Group, was a first of several sorts. Irish writer Marie Jones' Stones is this brand-new company's first production, and Wednesday was opening night. Tir Na is the brainchild of Bostonbased Colin Hamell, who says that his goal is to steer US-based Irish actors and directors to European and Irish themes and theatres. To that end, he recruited George C Heslin to direct this production. Having acted in the recent American tour of the show's successful Broadway production, Heslin knows the work well. Hamell joins Derry Woodhouse on stage, and the result is a hilarious romp that deserved more than its four performances here. The play is set in an Irish village where Hollywood has descended to make an 'authentic' Irish film, but work is disrupted when a local boy kills himself. Caricatured characters show up in droves: from the Irish locals to the self-centered American starlet to the all-business production manager. The two actors play all 15 roles in a tour-de-force performance. Some theatre-goers wonder about the appropriateness of a suicide in a play that is otherwise so humorous. They have told Hamell that they would prefer just to keep on laughing. And laugh they do: even the play's cheap laughs are endearing. It's simply a delight to watch the actors portray these outrageous personalities. Yet the darker side of the plot adds balance. As one character says,"People don't go to the movies to get depressed; that's what the theatre is for." Jones' script sags slightly in the second act despite fantastic moments such as the film's big dance scene. On opening night, the actors timing still needed fine-tuning, but Tir Na was a pleasure to watch and we can look forward to their Brussels visits on future European tours." --Sharon Light

Boston Center for the Arts — March 20-April 5 2008

Bang the drum. Raise a glass. Let the celebrating begin.
"There’s a new Irish theater company in town! Most of us are still mourning the loss of the Sugan Theatre and we were beginning to think we would have to do without. But Tir Na has leaped onto the scene with a flourish. Their dazzling production of Marie Jones’ Stones in His Pockets will set a high standard for the new company. Jones’ delightful send-up of location movie making is rumored to be based on the Tom Cruise-Nicole Kidman vehicle, Far and Away. In Stones, just about everyone in this sleepy little Irish town wants in on the Hollywood experience. What makes Stones remarkable is the cast. Place two actors in front of an azure sky and let ‘em rip. The two impersonate extras, crew, stars, directors and town folk, male and female---at the drop of a hat, with the turn of a head or a shift in body weight. The trick is a tour de force for two talented actors and Colin Hamell and Derry Woodhouse deliver in spades!"
read more from The Theater Mirror review

Mojo Mickybo

New York, 59E59 — September 16-21 2008

"The troubles of 1970 Belfast permeate the lives of Mojo and Mickybo, two boyhood friends who sense the possibility of being murdered in their beds, whose parents are isolated from them and from each other, and who yearn to escape. Yet these concerns are ancillary to most of the action of Owen McCafferty's play, which instead tracks schoolyard fights and reenactments of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. While it may be true that even in times of crisis, boys will be cowboys, repeated faux-gunshots have a limited appeal."
read more from Backstage review